De Trafford, The Drawing Board 2018

(1 review)

David Trafford, owner and winemaker, enjoyed a successful career as an architect before changing direction and pursuing his passion for winemaking. His wife, Rita, is a qualified chef and artist. Each of the De Trafford labels is designed by one of the dynamic pair.

This is another excellent vintage of the drawing board; the best barrels of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were selected for this wine. Created from grapes grown on an incredible vineyard site, high up on the Eastern slopes of Helderberg Mountain.

It’s a radiant deep ruby wine, with rich mulberry and blackberry on the nose. They carry over to the palate with savoury black olive tapenade and soft spice. Intense, slightly creamy fruit on the palate, followed by a firm dry finish with beautifully integrated oak.

We recommend decanting for a good hour; let the wine open up and really come into its own.

93pts | Platter's


Only 6 left in stock


Bordeaux Blend, Red Blend

LightFull Bodied


The best barrels of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were chosen from wines produced from our magnificent vineyard site high up on the eastern slopes of the Helderberg mountain. The soil is a deep red decomposed granite – Hutton type. The vines are close planted (5000 vines / ha.) ensuring that each vine does not produce much more than 1kg.

Cabernet Franc 47%
13 yr old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis. Clones CF1 & CF214 on 101-14 rootstock.
Yield 4 tons/h (24hℓ/ha)
Cabernet Sauvignon 44%
23 yr old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis. Mix of 6 clones on 101-14 rootstock
Yield 3 tons/ha. (18hℓ/ha)
Merlot 9%
13 yr old vines on 7 wire vertical trellis. Clone MO181 on R99 rootstock
Yield 5 tons/ha. (32hℓ/ha)


Another excellent vintage to follow 2017, after 2 years of drought. Winter started a bit late, but was cold enough to get dormancy off to a good start. Bud break started late as winter dragged on into September. The early growing season was windy with cold and wet periods leading to uneven flowering and berry set resulting in lower yields. The rest of the growing season was dry and hot followed by much cooler temperatures in February with especially cool nights. Disease pressure was very low and the late start to harvest we had healthy grapes with small bunches and small berries. Harvest a little later than usual with very little rain problems. Quite similar to 2017


Handpicked, 100% destemmed and gently crushed directly into open top fermenters. Spontaneous natural yeast fermentation @ max. temp. 30°C. Time on skins around 14 days, with cap of skins punched down (pigeage) 1 – 4 times a day. Wine drained directly to barrels together with a single pressing from our traditional basket press.
Malolactic fermentation in the barrel. 100% new 225L French oak used for the first year before being blended and matured in a mix of new and second fill 225L barrels for a further 9 months.
Bottled by hand, unfined and unfiltered, on the property.
Bottling date: 9/11/16
Total Production: 80 x 6 bottle (750mℓ) cases & 12 x 3 magnums.


Deep ruby colour, rich mulberry flavours on the nose which evolve into something more savoury with aspects of black olive tapenade with a spicy undertone. Intense but creamy fruit on the palate followed by a firm, dry finish with well integrated oak which knits to a harmonious whole. Will do well to be decanted an hour or two before drinking, and drink 2024 to 2030. Best enjoyed with Picanha rump cooked over fire with tomato, olive and balsamic.

Additional information

Alcohol vol



Bordeaux Blend, Red Blend





Wine Farm

Try it with barbecued Picanha rump, with tomato, olive and balsamic.

1 review for De Trafford, The Drawing Board 2018

  1. 93pts | Platter’s

    The best barrels of cab franc, cab & merlot (47/44/9) for this stylish blend from own high-lying Helderberg sites. 2018 black fruit, dried herbs & underlying graphite note. Long finish with a touch of minerality, spice from serious wooding: year new oak, further 9 months new/2nd-fill casks as blend. Also 1.5L. No 2017.

    Platter’s 2021

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